Ever since we left the barter system behind, customers have used money to pay for things. The way money has changed hands, however, has changed drastically over time. Coins and cash evolved into checks and wire transfers. Then came credit cards and debit cards. In today’s digital age, payments are changing even more rapidly. New payment mediums—including NFC services like Apple Pay, contactless credit cards, and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin—are becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. In the fintech-driven mobile era, payment technology continues to move forward.
Customers today demand personalized experiences. When it comes to payments, this means that they’d like to be able to pay for things using whichever payment mediums they prefer. Stay on top of these six trends to give your customers more payment options and meet their expectations in 2019 and beyond.
1. More and more Americans will stop using cash
Cash has been disappearing from American wallets for quite some time. But according to a recent report by Visa, the situation is getting more pronounced. In fact, 29 percent of Americans don’t buy anything with cash. Conversely, the number of Americans who buy everything with cash has dropped from 24 percent to 18 percent since 2015.
In other words, stores that only accept cash will see their customer base dwindle. To prepare for the future, merchants need to move to new POS systems that accept modern payment methods, including NFC payments, mag stripe, and chip cards.
2. Contactless payment cards will become increasingly common
Contactless credit cards—cards that use NFC technology and don’t need to be swiped or inserted into a chip reader—are being used more often around the world. During the most recent World Cup in Russia, for example, 45 percent of all Visa purchases were made via contactless cards. In the United States, 99 percent of the top 200 retailers now accept contactless payments. You can expect this trend to accelerate as customers get more familiar with NFC payment methods.
3. New payment forms will continue to emerge
Just as digital wallet services like Apple Pay and Google Pay have come online in recent years, new payment forms will continue to emerge. For example, on Singles’ Day in China, 60 percent of shoppers paid by taking a selfie or using a fingerprint scan. Additional biometric payment forms may emerge in the future, too. Is it impossible to imagine a device that accepts payment by scanning your eyes?
4. Digital wallet adoption will grow
To date, digital wallet adoption has grown slowly because customers aren’t quite ready to change their payment behaviors. Still, more and more consumers are expected to use this payment medium over the next few years as younger customers accumulate more purchasing power. Merchants who are in the position to take payments from digital wallets stand to benefit, but those who still rely on old-fashioned POS systems will have to turn at least some customers away.
5. Security will remain a top priority for merchants
In recent years, several brand-name companies have suffered massive data breaches—and have therefore been forced to deal with the pricey consequences. For this reason, it comes as no surprise that the cybersecurity market is booming as many shrewd business owners move to protect personally identifiable information (PII). Merchants wishing to protect this data will increasingly move to modern payment solutions that are PCI-compliant and include built-in security features out of the box. In doing so, they’ll get the peace of mind that comes with knowing their sensitive data is secure.
6. Merchants will use apps designed to support their workflows
Businesses in all industries are using modern solutions that help them get more done more efficiently. In this light, as more and more retailers move to smart payment solutions, they will extend their investments by adding third-party apps to their POS systems to make managing their businesses easier.
For example, apps like Homebase make time management easier, and apps like Paya enable business owners to create and manage loyalty programs in just a few clicks.
Prepare for the future with a smart payment solution!
If your retail business is still relying on the same cash register or POS system you’ve been using for many years, it’s time to upgrade to a smart payment solution designed to scale with your business and prepare you for the future. In doing so, you’ll be able to meet your customers’ expectations by giving them access to modern technology and more payment options while expediting the checkout process and ensuring that transactions are secure.
Add it all up, and you improve the overall customer experience—delighting your customers while strengthening your bottom line.